‘Steroids in high concentration is dangerous’


Dr Okezie Emenike, an Abuja based physician, on Wednesday cautioned against the excessive intake of steroids as it could be life threatening.

Emenike told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that steroids were medications used for the treatment of some illnesses including inflammation, arthritis and asthma.

According to the physician, the drugs can be well tolerated but it should be for short term usage to reduce the side effects which could be long term.

He said: “Like other drugs, steroids have many side effects which include difficulties in sleeping, fatigue as well as heart attack.

“Steroids increase the risk of indigestion, nausea and can also cause mood disorders in some patients.

“They increase the body’s tendency to retain fluid, weight gain and cause swelling in the ankles.’’

Emenike said that steroids also reduced the body’s immune system thereby predisposing the patient to high risk of infections.

“The use of steroids can also cause liver damage, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

“Also, they can lead to stunted growth, stop bones, joints and muscles from reaching full maturity in growing adolescent.

“If they have been taken during pregnancy, they can slow a baby’s growth after birth as well as cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

“Steroids suppress the natural occurring testosterone in the body as well as lead to a decrease in testicle size, sperm production, infertility and baldness in men,’’ he said.

According to Emenike, steroids can be converted into estrogen which may lead to breast enlargement in men while in females, they can cause excess testosterone.

This may lead to developing deeper voice, increased hair production and change in menstrual cycle.

However, the physician advised patients who are being treated for some illnesses with steroids to consult their doctors and weigh the options before use.

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